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Soldotna girls roll by Grace Christian

Posted: Sunday, February 19, 2006

 

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  Soldotna's Ashley Bell attempts to fend off defending Grizzlies during Friday's game against Grace Christian. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Soldotna's Mikala Smith works past Grace Christian's Alyssa Savage Friday night.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

The Soldotna girls basketball team showed it is getting healthy again Friday in a nonconference game against Grace Christian.

The Stars, now 10-6 overall, shot a sizzling 59 percent from the field in the first half en route to a 60-28 victory. Paige Blackburn paced Soldotna with 12 points — 10 of which came in the decisive first half — while Mikala Smith added 11 points.

About a month ago, Grace was one of the three teams the Soldotna girls defeated in Kotzebue to win a tournament there. Several of the members of the team fell ill after the tournament, though, and Soldotna coach Mark Tuter said his team is finally healthy again.

At the Kotzebue tournament, the Stars topped the Grizzlies 43-35.

“After that game in Kotzebue, I thought we were going to come in here and give Mark Tuter and his program a better game,” said Grace coach Trace Savage after his team fell to 6-9 overall. “Maybe the girls were a little overconfident. Or maybe the girls were sandbagging it because we knew we had a conference game against Houston (Saturday).

“I don’t know what happened.”

 

Soldotna's Ashley Bell attempts to fend off defending Grizzlies during Friday's game against Grace Christian.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Soldotna jumped to a 12-2 lead by hitting four of its first six shots and not turning the ball over. Savage tried to stop the run when he called timeout with 4:43 left in the first period.

“We were feeling confident and that really plays a big part in our shooting,” Blackburn said. “When you see your teammates making shots, it can be contagious.”

Tuter said his squad’s hot shooting had to do with excellent passing. He said some good passes got his team some layups early. Once the Stars had a solid lead, there was not as much pressure on each shot.

Grace’s Katelyn Perry managed to keep her squad in the game until midway through the second period. A rebound layup by Perry make the score 25-17 with 4:29 left until halftime. At that point, Perry had 12 of Grace’s 17 points.

Soldotna closed the half on a 16-2 run to take a 41-19 lead and firm control of the game. Soldotna’s 59 percent shooting in the first half included a 3-of-6 effort from 3-point range. The Stars also made all six of their free throws.

“We shot a lot better than the last time we played them,” Tuter said.

With both teams having to play conference games on Saturday, the starters on both squads spent a lot of time on the bench in the second half.

“We’ve got a lot of people that work really hard to be a part of the varsity team, so it was nice to get all of them some playing time,” Tuter said.

Homer girls 41, Soldotna 29

The Mariners cooled down the Stars to peg down a Northern Lights Conference victory Saturday in Homer.

Reba Temple had 12 points to lead Homer, which did not let Soldotna scored 10 points in any quarter. Blackburn had 12 points for Soldotna, while Christa Kennedy added 10.

Homer boys 54, Soldotna 48

Luke Gilbert had 22 points and Justin Smith added 11 on Saturday as the host Mariners picked up a Northern Lights Conference victory.

Soldotna had a 39-36 lead entering the final quarter, but was unable to hold the lead. Tony Besse had 17 points, Kelly Seggerman had 13 points and Brian Blossom added 10 points for the Stars.

Friday girls

STARS 60, GRIZZLIES 28

Grace 12 7 2 7 —28

Soldotna 20 21 5 14 —60

GRACE CHRISTIAN (28) — Marchuk 0 1-2 1, Balistreri 0 0-4 0, Metcalf 2 0-0 4, Peck 1 0-0 2, Walls 1 0-2 2, Savage 0 0-0 0, Perry 5 2-2 12, Berg 3 1-2 7, Weber 0 0-0 0. Totals — 12 4-12 28.

SOLDOTNA (60) — Smith 4 2-2 11, Cleveland 3 0-0 6, Heffner 0 0-0 0, Kennedy 3 0-0 7, Donaldson 1 1-2 3, Jen. Stenga 2 2-4 7, Marey 0 0-0 0, Jes. Stenga 0 0-0 0, Lindley 0 0-0 0, Bell 0 0-0 0, Barker 3 0-0 8, Denna 0 6-8 6, Blackburn 6 0-0 12, Madden 0 0-0 0. Totals — 22 11-16 60.

3-point goals — Soldotna 5 (Barker 2, Jen. Stenga 1, Kennedy 1, Smith 1). Team fouls — Grace 13, Soldotna 12. Fouled out — none.

Saturday girls

MARINERS 41, STARS 29

Soldotna 7 9 4 9 —29

Homer 10 8 11 12 —41

SOLDOTNA (29) — Smith 0 1-2 1, Cleveland 0 0-0 0, Kennedy 4 1-1 10, Stenga 0 0-0 0, Barker 0 0-0 0, Denna 3 0-1 6, Blackburn 6 0-0 12. Totals — 13 2-4 29.

HOMER (41) — Bornheimer 2 2-2 6, McCarron 0 0-0 0, Creamer 4 1-3 9, Gavenus 0 0-0 0, Arno 0 0-0 0, Horazdovsky 3 1-2 7, Gruber 0 0-0 0, Siekaniec 1 1-4 3, McKinstry 2 0-0 4, Temple 6 0-3 12. Totals — 18 5-14 41.

3-point goals — Soldotna 1 (Kennedy 1). Team fouls — Soldotna 13, Homer 10. Fouled out — none.

Saturday boys

STARS 39, MARINERS 36

Soldotna 13 16 10 9 —48

Homer 12 12 12 18 —54

SOLDOTNA (48) — Lybrand 0 0-0 0, Jackson 1 0-0 2, Blossom 3 2-3 10, Besse 7 3-4 17, Carver 0 0-0 0, Roberts 1 0-0 2, Wilbanks 2 0-0 4, Seggerman 4 4-4 13. Totals — 18 9-11 48.

HOMER (54) — Smith 1 9-10 11, Szymoniak 0 4-4 4, Andrews 2 3-4 8, Gilbert 6 6-6 22, McKinstry 2 0-0 4, Isenhour 0 0-0 0, Zogan 0 0-0 0, Layland 1 0-0 2, Thompson 0 0-0 0, McWilliams 1 1-4 3. Totals — 13 23-28 54.

3-point goals — Soldotna 3 (Blossom 2, Seggerman 1); Homer 5 (Gilbert 4, Andrews 1). Team fouls — Soldotna 19, Homer 15. Fouled out — Carver, Andrews.



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